Friday, 1 July 2005

Day 32 The semiotics of packing; Soya Sauce

I blame Tony Blair I really do, what with the salt is bad for you campaign. What is salty but not salt? Soya sauce, perfect, you can use it to salt up your food and it has a nice extra taste of its own. Anyway, I digress. What I mean to be talking about is packing the rucksack.

Packing, as the regular reader may have noticed, plays a central role in my life, errors have been made and things have been broken, lessons have been learned. The problem is that there is more stuff that I need than there is space to put it in, the solutions to this have been to pack everything in as small a space as possible and to need less stuff.

The thing that uses the most amount of stuff is my sleeping bag, lovely goose down thing that it is. I bought a compression sack to squeeze it into as small a space as possible, the compression sack did this very well but shape of the compressed bag is so irregular that it creates gaps all around it that can’t be filled and thus it uses more space than it would if it was uncompressed. Hence my sleeping bag is squeezed into the bottom of the pack and everything else is neatly and orderly packed on top of it. That was the theory, everything in a neat ordered fashion. However, what with being constantly tired and in a rush and with it being dark and my not having a torch things got a bit slap dash.

Soya sauce is nutritious and delicious but it is also very runny. Should one fail to pack it in a neat and orderly fashion the lid could come off. If the lid were to come off this could be something of a disaster, Soya sauce could leak out and spill all over the carpet. Fortunately for me and for reasons discussed above my sleeping bag is free range in the bottom of my bag and thus free from the constrictions of waterproofing. I can tell you that Goose down sleeping bags are highly absorbent, this is indeed fortunate as it prevented too much (though not all) of the Soya sauce spilling out onto the carpet at work. This saved me from the hassle of calling the cleaners and asking them to clean the spill, instead all I had to do was to walk around central London at rush hour looking for a dry cleaner that would clean a feather sleeping bag. Curiously I found none.

It is a well known fact that rice and Soya sauce do go rather well together, it is perhaps appropriate then that wherever I go now I leave a small number of grains of rice, black.